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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just picked up a used cross bike. I am coming from the mountain bike world where the trend is shorter and shorter stems and wider bars. So the bike I just got came with a 130mm stem which is way too long for me anyway you look at it and has got to go. What is the sweet spot for cross stems? I was thinking around 90mm, but it feels like I could go even shorter and be comfortable. I know the proper answer is "go get fitted", but please indulge me with anecdotal tales of your experience.
 

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pretender said:
110mm is the best length for cyclocross. 100 is too short and 120 is too long.
All depends on body morphology, frame size, handlebar selection, and personal handling preference.

If you can, get a professional fit. If you've had a professional fit on your road bike (and you are comfortable), aim to go 1-2 cm shorter in your reach than on your road bike. Typically, this involves going to a shorter stem.

Some folks like to have the bars a little higher too, but I like to keep them where they are on the road bike.

I've run anywhere from 90-110 mm stems depending on the frame.
 

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The ideal stem length is the one that creates the ideal reach from the saddle to the bars. 100 is typically the starting place for a fitting, then depending on the geometry specifics and how your body is proportioned, you go up or down from there. 130 is huge. Was the person you bought the bike from significantly taller than you? Longer torso?

When all else fails, always listen to Pretender.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
krisdrum said:
The ideal stem length is the one that creates the ideal reach from the saddle to the bars. 100 is typically the starting place for a fitting, then depending on the geometry specifics and how your body is proportioned, you go up or down from there. 130 is huge. Was the person you bought the bike from significantly taller than you? Longer torso?

When all else fails, always listen to Pretender.
They guy I bought it from was maybe even a little shorter. I don't know about his torso. The bike is sort of a hodgepodge of parts (good ones but mismatched). He probably just had that stem laying around. It stretches me out pretty far, so I'm thinking of swapping to a 90, but I do have a tendency to go from one extreme to the other.
 

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Agree with 110. Steering and leverage is much better at this length. When I first built my new bike I had a 90mm laying around, after switching to a 110 its like night and day. You should buy a frame that fits with a 110, you didn't, so just get a stem that makes the bike comforable for you.
 

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teslastros said:
They guy I bought it from was maybe even a little shorter. I don't know about his torso. The bike is sort of a hodgepodge of parts (good ones but mismatched). He probably just had that stem laying around. It stretches me out pretty far, so I'm thinking of swapping to a 90, but I do have a tendency to go from one extreme to the other.
Are you feeling stretched out because the reach (with 130 stem) is too long for you or are you feeling stretched out because you are used to a mountain bike and the very different position it puts your body in, compared to a road/cross bike?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What I'm gathering is that between 90-110 is pretty much the standard. Thanks for everyone's input. I'll try a few lengths and rise options in that range and see what i like.
 

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teslastros said:
What I'm gathering is that between 90-110 is pretty much the standard. Thanks for everyone's input. I'll try a few lengths and rise options in that range and see what i like.
That is the middle of the range for any bike, at least road oriented. And that is a pretty wide range when you get down to it. 2cm +/-. Even if money is super tight, I think you'd be better served by getting your LBS to help you pick out the right sized stem off the bat, even if you pay a bit more for it, in the end, it will be cheaper than trial and error.
 
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